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Tammy Harris


The need to create seems to run in my family. That, and the need for applause. Mom was a singer, songwriter, jinglemeister. She's won an "Addie" for one of her jingles and 1st place in the Billboard Magazine Contest for the best Gospel Song Category. Mom used to just walk into a store or whatever and just start singing ala Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Tammy Wynette-whatever style fit the moment-an impromptu jingle that she thought was perfect for their business. Believe it or not, it worked for her. A news show ran a special on her about it once. She was one of a kind. Dad was a mechanical engineer major with a flair for inventions of numerous sorts. Dad mostly did it for the pure love of inventing and problem solving, applause weren't necessary just a good ear to hear his rather extended technical account of how he achieved whatever he had just created or solved. My brother, Michael, is a drummer, writer, photographer, and at times on weekends while waiting for a table in a crowded restaurant, an off-key (actually on key, but rather strained) singer of old musicals. After a few minutes he would burst into an operatic version of one of them singing something like, "There's a place for us . . . [crescendo] . . . somewhere, there's a place for us . . ." Works like a charm-we are always seated within seconds of his booming renditions. Sister, Carolynn, is in sales also, but definitely missed her calling as a stand-up comic (complete with vocal impersonations) or a Sarah Bernhard-type actress. Oh wait; the Sarah Bernhard thing isn't an act. Oh, well . . . She keeps us rolling with her theatrics.

But, this is supposed to be about me isn't it? That's just the thing. I am the relatively quiet, reserved member of my family. Note, I say relative. Friends of mine never believe that when I say it because they think I'm pretty outrageous myself. That is, until they meet any one of the aforementioned characters. So, where do I fit in amongst this creative burst of energy? I don't have the musical thing going, that's for certain. I have no rhythm--can't dance unless I'm too drunk to notice everyone pointing and laughing (of course, this only happens about once ever ten years). I've always hated that-always wanted the music. The way Mom just hears it out of nowhere and then puts the lyrics to it. It's mind-boggling. I guess my stories, poems, plays and whatnot are my music. It is similar, in a way. At least the way I write. When I think of an idea, I don't envision it. I hear it. If there is a dialogue, I hear those voices, even if it is a foreigner with an accent I know little to nothing about. I hear it. Like Mom and her music, it just comes to me out of nowhere. I guess that's pretty cool too, ya think?

You can contact Tammy Harris at tambolyn@juno.com.

Tammy Harris' writing on Conversely

Listed from the most recent.

Sleepwalker
Wake up and smell the coffee! She was very good at taking care of him, but who was taking care of her?  Date: 12/1/00



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